tv The War Room With Jennifer Granholm Current December 19, 2012 2:00pm-3:00pm PST
>> jennifer: last night on cnn, larry prat the president of the group gun owners of america proposed an idea for how to stop mass killings. flood the country with more guns so all of that so-called good guys are armed. >> with guns come safety if the guns are in the hands of the good guys. if you believe and understand that there is evil in the world, you try as your first line of defense to solve it psychiatrically. you protect yourself with a gun. >> jennifer: in other words create an army of individual landties. listen to this.
>> good guys carrying guns can and do make a difference. the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. >> jennifer: but the facts just do not bare that out. consider the gabby giffords shooting. an armedman was there and afterwards he tells reporters this. >> i carry a weapon and when i heard gunfire i ran out and i would have shot him. >> jennifer: the man he thought was the shooter was not actually the shooter, it was another man who wrestled the gun away from the shooter. here is what he had to say about
that. >> i want to say it was a matter of seconds, two maybe three seconds, between when i came through the doorway and holding jared down. so i was really lucky. >> jennifer: he was lucky. so was the man he almost killed. simply put, relying on armed citizens to keep us safe it just doesn't work. according to mother jones there have been 62 mass shootingings in the last decade. not one has been stopped by a good guy returning fire. in cases where civils did try to fight back, two were gravely injured or killed. mutually assured destruction just doesn't work that well with suicidal maniacs, so we need to
find another way to keep our six-year-olds safe in their classrooms. this is about good and bad guys. and president the said he was appointing joe biden to assessable a task force. >> hopefully there will be some new ideas. their task is going to be to, you know, sift through every good idea that is out there, and even take a look at some bad ideas before disposing of them. >> jennifer: hopefully in the end disposing of them. john boehner was called to bring an end to high-ammunition magazines to a vote by saturday. great idea. and there are more good ideas
coming from the state level. in california there is a bill tightening california's ammunitions restrictions. but even as those good ideas take shape there are a lot of bad ideas lurking around the corner. take virginia governor's plan to arm teachers. really think about it. teachers with guns in charge of five years olds. >> school administrators should have guns under lock and key if that principal could have been able to have a gun, and step in and kill him, we would have
saved a lot of lives. >> jennifer: republican lawmakers in tennessee also plan to introduce a similar session. and republican lawmakers in south dakota, oklahoma texas, florida, minnesota, they have all expressed support for arming school teachers. one bad idea after another. but wait a second perhaps the most ludicrous idea came from special correspondent megan [ inaudible ]. she propose he teach students to take down killers themselves. she wrote . . .
seriously! let's train kamikaze kindergartners to take down crazed killers. that idea is by far the worst. for more on this story, i welcome inside "the war room" "mother jones" senior editor. thank for coming inside "the war room." you have written a great piece on the myth of the hero gun slinger. what did you find? >> i think most reasonable people can look at this argument that we should arm school teachers and see it falls on its face. and so we set out to find out
does this really happen. >> jennifer: not just in schools but overall. >> right. the types of public venues where these mass shootings have occurred in the last three decades. and we didn't find a single case where that happened. we also looked far beyond that because one of the arguments we get thrown back at it was of course if those were successful you are not counting the ones that were not successful. but i have yet to find a single case where a shooting ram paige was stopped by an armed citizen. and they push a handful of examples of what they claim to be successful armed interventions by citizens. but when you look at them closely, they all fall apart under scrutiny.
primarily because they are former police officers -- >> jennifer: right. it's a really divisive issue though, because this has been -- long been the mantra of those on the right, more guns less crime right? that is the title of a book by a man who has been the icon of the intellectual pro-gun movement who's theories have been shot down from time to time. he received the theory three pinocchios today. but what sort of reaction have you gotten? >> we hear the usual suspects
try to go after us with the same arguments. two were school shootings that hand in the '90s where teachers or administrators stopped the shooter with a gun. but in both cases, the shooting had already stopped. >> jennifer: i see. with these state laws that are being introduced do you think we can see a divided red/blue country? >> it is certainly possible. i'm not a huge fan of the red/blue paradigm because i think it doesn't look at the
complexity of states. >> jennifer: i agree. >> but that said where the gun laws play out at the state level is a very underreported story. there have been a wave of laws passed in the last few years that have made gun restrictions a lot looser. >> jennifer: in michigan for example, there is a huge heritage and respect for hunting, and for democrats especially from urban areas have got to recognize and realize there is a way to have sensible gun safety and respect the second amendment without going whole hog and allowing full bore any kind of weapon you want. we have federally a ban on automatic weapons, on machine guns. why? because people at the time thought it was important. do you think that your pieces will hopefully push congress at least to act? >> that would be great, right? you used the word reasonable and
sensible. i think this points to a key thing about this whole issue. the nra has been incredibly successful at causing political stalemate on this issue. they turn everything into a referendum on the constitution and attack on americanism -- on patriotism, so we have to move past that -- >> jennifer: we certainly do. and appreciate having facts on our side. mark thank you so much for joining us inside "the war room." senior editor with "mother jones." coming up any meaningful legislation on gun safety has to require republicans to soften their stance and put things on the table. georgia congressman jack kingston is going to tell us where he lines up. plus john boehner's plan b for solving the fiscal cliff should
♪ >> jennifer: the solution to gun violence requires separating the good ideas from the bad ideas. good ideas draw support from everyone regardless of politics. back in 1994 ronald reagan -- the icon of course to the right, who had been out of office at that time for six years, persuaded two members of congress to vote for the assault weapon ban. the ban passed by exactly two votes.
today nancy pelosi named mike thompson to lead the new gun violence task force, and he said, quote . . . not exactly the resume of a gun control freak, but thompson knows that gun safety is a good idea and it's one thing that we cannot allow to fade from public consciousness. in his press conference president obama addressed that very issue. >> the idea we would say this is terrible, this is tragedy, never again, and we don't have the sustained at attention span to get this done over the next several months doesn't make sense. i have more confidence in the parents that i have been meeting
over the last several days all across the country from all political persuasions including a lot of gun owners who say you know what, this time we have got to do things differently. >> jennifer: people of all political persuasions have re-examined their gun stance following the tragedigy at sandy hook. several senator and mayors have said they are at least open to reconsidering their positions. whether the promise stands the test of time, though, is yet to be seen, and one man who might be able to help us answer that question is representative jack kingston. congressman welcome inside "the war room." >> thank you governor, and it's great to be here but certainly a sad occasion but i appreciate
the opportunity. >> jennifer: likewise i really appreciate your willing to come and share your ideas. you are somebody who the nra has given an a rating to. and what specific solutions are you able to put on the table to prevent this from happening again. >> what i have said is that pro-gun people should not be afraid to have this discussion and put all of the facts on the table and see what could be done to prevent it. how do we keep guns out of the hands of mentally unbalanced people appears to be a huge challenge in our society because it gets in to privacy and freedom issues, and so forth, but putting this on the table, talking about the mental health part, and what cultural influences might send people off in a direction like this, would
be a very good process. we want to prevent things like this from happening, and the best way to do that is to consider all of the angles. what is it in our culture that is limiting it's a to this. >> jennifer: would you be in favor of closing the gun show loophole that prevents people who may be mentally ill from having a background check? >> yes, and on a state level there a are things that states can try that if somebody tries to get a gun and they are not eligible, will the next state be informed of that? so to me let's talk about it. a lot of people have talked about expanding the assault weapon bill. connecticut does have an assault weapon ban, the ar-15 which was
used is not assault weapon. so part of the discussion has to be, well, what is an assault weapon, and the banning of -- with the expansion of the list stop this from happening as well? and i think we're going to have to look at a lot of data and make sure we're making progress in the right direction and not just putting a band aid on it. >> jennifer: yeah -- go ahead. >> last night i put in mario war fair on youtube, and mario brothers -- it was a ten-minute youtube of a guy walking down the hall shooting everybody, but those type of cultural exhibits did not exist 30 and 40 years ago, and are we bombarding our
children with that? and the reason why that's important is because if we want to examine in its entirety this whole cultural experience this phenomenon if you will should we talk about that? and i understand the first amendment issues are just as sensitive as the second amendment issues but i think we need to be bold in our conversation and discussion. >> jennifer: i appreciate what you said about the assault weapon's ban, but is that something that for example you would be willing to consider as one measure? >> i -- i think you could put it on the table. >> jennifer: okay. >> i don't want to make a personal commitment -- >> jennifer: of course. >> -- but, yeah let's put it on the table. we're all heart broken right now, and we need to look at everything in the memory of these children if you will.
>> jennifer: i think that's admirable that you are willing to at least say it should be on the table. the second thing is you mentioned mental health there are a lot of members of your party who may have in the past said they wouldn't support access to mental health. do you think folks would be willing to support their calls for mental health but with funding too? >> i -- i think so and i serve on the subcommittee of the appreciation that funds health and human services and i think we should and will examine it. and one of the possibilities is a grant system so that local communities could learn more about the profile. and the difficulty with mental health is it's not like a broken arm. it's not a parent. and it is triggered under
different mental illnesses, so it makes it extremely difficult. but if you work with the local health centers and state ones we could get a lot done. we have a 1-800 number for substance abusers right now. what if you were worried about somebody's conduct and be able to call in and say, i see some red flags out there who can i talk to? >> jennifer: right. and obviously there needs to be treatment in addition to communication. and the nra plans to hold a press conference on friday. what do you think they're going to offer? >> i don't know. but i'm very glad they are doing it. because i think it's important to talk and engage and possibly on thingses like you mentioned the loophole for gun shows, and
supporting law enforcement and making sure that weapons don't get into the hands of people we don't want to have a gun. i think they have a lot of bring to the table. and you have to build a consensus between the pro-gun people, and the anti-gun people and everybody in between, and that's what we're looking for right now? what are some of the commonalities, and how can we move forward in an open way. >> jennifer: i agree. and at least there are some openings for consensus. i really appreciate you coming on a progressive show like this. representative jack kingston of georgia. up next in 2006, a group of around 15 mayors had an idea. lobby together to make congress
♪ >> jennifer: the gun violence hasn't stopped since friday's sandy hook tragedy, not for a minute. on monday another murder suicide in grand rapids, michigan resulted in three deaths. and yesterday a killer had been released from prison hours before a killing in colorado. 86 americans die from gunshot wounds every single day. 48,000 people will fall in president obama's second term at this rate. it's up to the states to adopt
smart gun-safety laws. the top ten states from deaths from guns also had the weakest gun-safety laws but the reverse is also true because seven out of the ten states with the lowest number of deaths from guns also had the strongest gun-safety laws. including background checks and prohibit the sale of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines, and those that require law enforcement to do more background checks before issuing concealed weapons permits. with me tonight is mark glaze, he is the director of mayors against guns. mark is joining me from new york. thanks for coming inside "the war room," mark. >> thank you for having me.
>> jennifer: i know you have on the air a lot because of the tragedy last week. i'm curious about the policy arm of your organization, and what can be done on the state level. many states have or are introducing laws to allow more concealed weapons in public schools, for example. what is your organization doing at this point for that. >> going to the states is one of the many paths to victory to this issue. one of the paths was actually shown in michigan -- your own home state. so you have a very republican governor there and the nra was on the path to pass two really bad bills, one would eliminate background checks for concealed
weapons, and the second would allow concealed carrying in places like day cares and schoolyards. and in a matter of weeks the nra had both of those initiatives completely reversed. we beat them on the first one, after the connecticut shootings the governor vetoed the bill and he should have. so the nra is on its heels at this point. >> jennifer: this weekend there were some successful gun buybacks in camden and san francisco and oakland. does your organization push for programs like those that -- where you don't have to worry about getting republican votes? >> we don't take a position on that kind of local policy. but new york city has gun
buybacks, and we found them to be one good tool. but in new york city we are the safest big city in the country, and have relatively few murders per capita, and one reason is we have some of the strongest gun laws in the country. but 85% of the guns found in new york city came from somewhere else. one state's weak gun laws affect everybody else's crime rate. >> jennifer: yep. today president obama made this announcement today. >> i have asked the vice president to lead an effort that including members of my cabinet and outside organizations to come up with a set of concrete proportionals no later than january, proposals that i then intend to push without delay. >> jennifer: so he is probably
going to put some stuff in his state of the union. what do you expect to come out of the task force? >> the president said a lot of good things, and it's fantastic, by the way that he chose vice president biden who is about as smart on these issues and as attuned to law enforcement as anybody in government. but we think the first and best thing you can do is make sure everybody gets a background check. right now something like 40 to 50% of people who buy guns may not get a background check because you only have to do that approximate you go to a licensed dealer, smart criminals know that, so they go to the internet, back of somebody's car, or a gun show. so that was a very smart move. second he said we ought to find a way to get assault weapons off of our streets.
we agree. we think the last ban didn't have everything you would want. we're trying look at a bill that you would pass that would be stronger and less easy to evade. and also high-capacity magazines, which keep turning up at these increasingly horrific mass shootings. >> jennifer: yeah, we just had jack kingston on who said that he thought the gun show loopholes should be closed. mark thank you so much for coming inside "the war room." mark glaze director of mayors against illegal guns. coming up we have all woken up in the dead of night and scribbled a million dollar idea on a napkin only to wake up the
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♪ >> jennifer: you know it's never a good idea to over play your hand in washington. today the white house called speaker boehner's bluff and vowed to veto his fiscal cliff plan b though president obama still wants to get a deal done before christmas. >> i remain optimistic because if you look at what the speaker has proposed he has conceded that income tax rates should go up, except right now he only wants to have them go up for
millionaires. >> tomorrow the senate will pass legislation that will make the tax cuts permanent for 99.1% of the american people. then the president can call on democrats to pass the bill or he can be responsible for the largest tax increase in american history. >> jennifer: i don't know, mr. president. i think you may need to call his bluff again. so for a look at the good bad, and ugly ideas for the fiscal cliff is tad divine. he was a senior strategist for gore and kerry's presidential campaign. welcome back inside "the war room," ted. >> governor good to be with you. >> jennifer: speaker boehner's plan b is a bad idea for the
country, but it is a good idea for house republicans? >> i think they are concerned about what may happen to them in a republican primary. that motivates almost every action they take these days and that leads them to have a vote that can give them cover later on. but the speaker and the republicans are so poorly positioned right now on this issue, they look like they want to do nothing but defend the wealthy. and i think this vote is going nowhere, hopefully there are real negotiations going on at the same time, otherwise the republicans will go over the cliff, not the country. >> jennifer: the progressive groups are not letting up on boehner. because said there was a coalition of unions that went after speaker boehner. >> what will happen if house speaker john boehner gets his
way on the budget? welcome to boehnerville where the rich won't pay their fair share. our children's educations will be cut. medicaid medicare and social security will put at risk and the economic recovery would falter. >> jennifer: so it's airing against a handful of house republicans. do you think that's a strategy that is going to work to have that outside pressure? >> i think it's important to keep up the pressure against the republicans, just like the republicans are trying to keep up the pressure against the president and the democrats, but this thing is going to get resolved. right now the president is in a very strong position. i think he has the full support of his party behind him. speaker boehner, i think is always looking over his shoulder. it is the tea party tail that wags the republican party dog in washington these days. hopefully he'll find a way to
pass a package that will help the country in a time of need. >> jennifer: i must say i take a little bit of pleasure in watching them squirm. but the president to be fair he is giving up something in negotiations, including the social security cost of living adjustment, and a higher income rate on the tax cuts that he ran on. earlier today, a "huffington post" headline blared what will he give up next? so do you think it was a bad idea politically to put some stuff that is near and dear to democrats on the table? >> no, don't. i think the presidents has demonstrated to the majority of americans that he is willing to meet the republicans halfway negotiate in good faith, and make a deal on behalf of the country, and there will be people on our side disappointed
by any agreement that gives up any ground. i see a president who understands what is at stake, and goes into this with real confidence. if the republicans don't make a break with him, i think he is prepared to let the taxes go up and have them live with the consequences. >> jennifer: i agree. who is going to run for john kerry's seat for sure? >> i don't think there are any definite candidates. if john kerry is appointed, i think he will be a tremendous secretary of state. >> jennifer: will scott brown run? >> i think almost certainly he is going to run again, yes. >> jennifer: interesting. democratic strategist man who
since 1971 $2.5 trillion have been spent on the war on drugs. >> when we say no to drugs, it will be clear that we mean absolutely none. >> some think there won't be room for them in jail. we'll make room. >> but today illegal narcotics are purer, cheaper, and more available than ever before. >> jennifer: that was a clip from the new documentary calling
"breaking the taboo." i caught up with the producer, sam [ inaudible ]. i asked him for his opinion about the war on drugs. >> it's so easy to get scared obviously being -- the idea of being more relaxed with drug policy. the point is that's what there is now. there's a free for all of drugs. there's no control over the if you regulate the market what you do is make it the government's responsibility to look after the people who are taking drugs and putting health
at the forefront of this, and all it is going to do is create a better life for everyone involved. >> jennifer: so would you even regulate very hard drugs like her -- heroin. >> it's just to paint the picture of how the war on drugs are causing really really big negative effects around the world. we need to have an educated debate of what the best solutions are. >> joy: listen to this sound bite. >> if the results were that we were going to eliminate serious
drug use in america, it hasn't worked. >> jennifer: many would say it's easy for out of office political leaders to stand against the war on drugs. are there any current or future leaders who have spoken out? >> obviously it is easier for ex-politicians to come out in support. but the president of columbia has come out recently in making this the forefront of his agenda, and i think the point of the film is to start the global conversation, once politicians realize this is an issue that people care about, they will want to get involved. >> jennifer: with the legalization of marijuana, are you optimistic that the war on
drugs may be at least -- there's a crack in the armor that it may be starting to end? >> i think it's a start to the end of the war on drugs. i think what it is showing is that people have been progressive in their thinking in understanding that the current laws aren't working. if you look at cigarettes and the education campaigns around cigarettes we have dropped cigarette use nearly 50% in the last generation and a half which is a humg success story, and i think it's the start of big social and political change around drugs, and i'm really excited and i hope the film will spark this globally. >> jennifer: your team has started a petition to change global drug policy. i think it has a million signatures and will be presented
to the united nations next month. why do you think that will be an effective strategy? >> we're going with a new motto with the film. what films do is educate, but they don't give people a vehicle to act so by getting up the website, people can go and get involved. they can sign the petition. when nixon started the war 40 years ago, it was the u.s.'s pressure on the un to start the war. so we're looking to them to have a forward thinking idea and allow countries to experiment with what works for them. >> jennifer: your film has been likened to an inconvenient truth. will you be personally going around and showing the film in
the same way that al gore did? >> i think it was a wonderful thing, but i think it was probably the best documentary of all time but it really started the global conversation, and it's a brilliant thing to be likened to that, and i really hope it starts the conversation and is the catalyst that creates real change in the conversation. >> jennifer: but will we see you, sam, branson on the road? >> a bit. but this is more about the people in the film. >> jennifer: that was a conversation i had with sam branson earlier. he is the producer of "breaking the taboo." there are some ideas that don't
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ñ ♪ >> jennifer: every year time magazine chooses its person of the year. here to tell you who it is is someone who it certainly isn't. our own, brett ehrlich. >> time magazine has announced its person of the year and it is -- wait for it please -- barack obama. carved in butter. it's true america actually likes the president. so the decision is a good idea. but as noble prize winner once wrote . . . and wouldn't you know it my
highly trained flying cat olivia shown here was able to infiltrate time magazine's headquarters and come up with bad ideas. chris christie was on the list for person of the year but he already won planet of the year. had romney won the election time's choice would have been clear. this guy who got the romney campaign symbol tattooed on his face for $15,000. and newt gingrich with a contender. >> i got bit which by a penguin. >> weird. so con grayings president obama for becoming time's person of the year and beating out my favorite person, t